The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange closed with gains, after a lively session. The Maof-25 index of blue chips finished up 1.54% to 435.1 points, the Tel Aviv-100 ended up 1.60% to 424.28 points, and the Tel-Tech index of technology stocks closed up a sharp 3.47%.
A spate of selling on Tuesday had brought the leading indices down, but the Wednesday session opened with gains of about 1.5%. Falling prices in Europe and indications of losses on Nasdaq later today did initially drag down the local indices.
But today's star stock, Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA), lost none of its morning momentum, and rose 2% on a huge NIS 82 million volume. The company published its first quarter results this morning, reporting a 56% leap in net profit against the first quarter of 2000 to $54.8 million. Revenues climbed 46% against the parallel to $491 million.
Another dual-listed share, which gained today, was Nice Systems (Nasdaq:NICE), which jumped 8.7%.
Investors responded positively to reports that IDB Holding Corporation Chairman Leon Recanati is considering merging Discount Investments with the entity being created from the merger of Clal Electronics and Clal Industries. The threesome-into-one might even be merged with IDB Development. All these belong to the IDB group, and all are holding companies, which creates a degree of redundancy. IDB Holdings finished up 4.4%, IDB Development jumped 5.4%, Discount Investments gained 4.3%, Clal Industries climbed 6.6%, and Clal Electronics rose 5.8%.
Formula Systems (Nasdaq:FORTY) ended up 4.3%, on a turnover of NIS 8 million. Yesterday the company gained 7.6% after announcing that Israeli businessman Yossi Maiman had filed a bid for its controlling interest.
Phone company Bezeq rose 2.7% on turnover of NIS 17 million, after receiving a Buy rating from investment house Ilanot Batucha. The analyst set Bezeq a price target of NIS 8.3, about 40% above Bezeq's market price. But Koor Industries (Nasdaq:KOR) is one of today's losers, with the stock falling 3.7% on profit taking after 13% gains over two trading days. This week TheMarker.com revealed Koor's plan to split up, abolish its role as a broad-based holding company and hand out shares in its subsidiaries.
Another loser was Tower Semiconductors (Nasdaq:TSEM), which shed 3.3% after revealing decreasing first-quarter revenues, and a slide back into the red after posting a meager $300,000 net profit for the fourth quarter.